Re: wood for rowboat

Posted by Mark Camp on Jul 21, 2004

Considering only cost, availablity, weight, and stiffness, and giving each equal weight, I come up with the scores below for lightweight small strip boat construction. Your requirements may vary, for example if you have some Sitka already lying around going to waste.

I did not consider aesthetics because it is a matter of taste. But both woods are beautiful, in my judgement. I also didn't consider machinability. Strength, like stiffness, is irrelevant, as noted. Both woods are compatible with epoxy. Durability, as you noted, is irrelevant.

WRC 80% (good), Sitka 40% (Poor).

Here is the calculation.

KEY: 1 Excellent; 2 Good; 3 Fair; 4 Poor; 5 Very Poor

WOOD COST Availability WEIGHT Stiffness

WRC 4 3 5 N/A*

Sitka 1 1 4 N/A*

*Spar/Aircraft quality Sitka Spruce is outstanding for its strength to weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios. WRC is the weakest wood you can buy in terms of stiffness in bending. However, neither of these facts is relevant in strip-built boats. Only weight is (ie, density), and here WRC has a clear edge over Sitka.

In Response to: wood for rowboat by Matt on Jul 21, 2004